Skip to main content

Many Syrian refugee children are being forced to work just to survive after having been displaced by the civil war there. Al-Jazeera reports that thousands are working in fields and factories in Lebanon as refugee families are running out of money.

Thirty-year-old Mahmoud (whose name has been changed to protect his identity) finds work wherever he can. So do his children and his nephews. They’re all Syrian refugees who arrived in Lebanon six months ago with not much more than the clothes they were wearing. Mahmoud’s family and his brother’s family live amid a few scrawny cherry and apricot trees on a windswept patch of a farmer’s field near the Bekaa Valley city of Baalbak, across the border and about 35 miles from Qusair. The stark camp looks like a scene out of John Steinbeck’s Depression-era tale “The Grapes of Wrath,” with a mangy dog guarding the plot’s perimeter, marked by a rusting barbed-wire fence.

Mahmoud’s daughter, Hamra, doesn’t attend school either. She stands near her mother and looks on as her cousins work on the truck. She wants to show visitors that she has contributed to the family’s survival as well. Holding up her hands, she demonstrates how she weaved dried tobacco into bunches last fall. She was working with her family — her mother, cousins and 7-year-old sister were all employed by tobacco farmers in the area.

As the violence continues to get out of hand and the politicians are too stubborn to come up with any kind of deal to end the violence, the children of Syria are the real victims.

A UN report blames both sides for the violence:

Children in Syria have been subjected to torture and sexual violence during the years-old civil war, the United Nations has said, calling on both government forces and armed opposition groups to stop the brutal treatment of minors caught up in the conflict.
“Government forces have … been responsible for the arrest, arbitrary detention, ill treatment and torture of children. Armed opposition groups have been responsible for the recruitment and use of children both in combat and support roles, as well as for conducting military operations … in civilian-populated areas,” Ban said.
“Children have been arrested, detained, ill-treated and tortured in detention facilities” by government forces in large-scale arrest campaigns – particularly in 2011 and 2012, Ban indicated in the report.

Among the acts of torture reported were “beatings with metal cables, whips and wooden and metal batons; electric shocks, including to the genitals; the ripping out of fingernails and toenails; sexual violence, including rape or threat of rape; mock executions; cigarette burns; sleep deprivation; solitary confinement; and exposure to the torture of relatives.”

The Oxford Research Group reported that over 11,000 Syrian children have died in the violence:
“What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed,” said Hana Salama, a co-author of the report, in a release. “Bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school; shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily executed, even gassed and tortured. All conflict parties need to take responsibility for the protection of children, and ultimately find a peaceful solution for the war itself.”
Now, 20,000 (and counting) refugees are in Turkey:
The United Nations says more than 20,000 Syrians have arrived in Turkey so far this year, with sometimes 1,000 to 2,000 arriving daily. The U.N.'s refugee agency says it's the biggest influx since early 2013. The formal refugee camps in Turkey have been overwhelmed by the influx, and some Syrians lucky enough to enter Turkey are sleeping in the Killis bus station for lack of money to pay for a hotel or apartment. Syrians denied access to Turkey are stuck on the Syrian side of the border in no man’s land.
And nobody seems to have any answers.
The last session of the second round of talks in Geneva lasted just 27 minutes — and ended with an apology from United Nations mediator, Lakhdar Brahimi.

"I am very, very sorry, and I apologize to the Syrian people that their hopes — which were very, very high that something will happen here," he said. "I apologize to them that on these two rounds, we have not helped them very much."

There are no winners and no good actors in this conflict. And nobody has any plans for providing safe homes for these refugees until such time as the violence has ended.
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joy of Fishes, Amber6541, Patango

    "The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." - W.E.B. Du Bois Be informed. Fight the Police State.

    by Eternal Hope on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:39:33 AM PST

  •  What I find maddening (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope

    is how this

    " Syrian government bombing of its own citizens"

    has been framed by the msm , The UN , and America establishment  

    Almost immediately  the people of Syria were label " the opposition / rebels" , when in fact this all started with people peacefully protesting , then getting shot and bombed for it , till they had no choice but to fight back and defend themselves

    The Arab League is responsible for the inaction imo , but then the whole world has not held them accountable for doing NOTHING  , and the west has not stepped forward to at least frame the argument  in a way that actually holds The Arab League accountable

    Helpless and hopeless , heaven please bring justice  

    Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

    by Patango on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:41:53 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site